Chemists and physicists will leave the UK to work elsewhere because of funding problems and cutbacks, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) warns.
It has published a report, Hybrid Cars and Shooting Stars, which shows that funding issues have forced laboratories and research facilities to cut back on staff and projects.
The TUC claims a Science and Technology Facilities Council £80 million funding shortfall must be made up by the government if it wants to safeguard science skills in Britain.
A dip in the skills base of the science sector could negatively impact on the UK economy if qualified and experienced workers have to move abroad in order to find work, it says.
General secretary Brendan Barber commented: "The UK has a fantastic record on science but our researchers need state-of-the-art facilities at their disposal and research institutes need a highly skilled pool of scientists to recruit from."
The House of Commons Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills committee has also published a recent report that explores the government's attitude towards science.